Archbishop Barwa has mixed emotions: “We are sad that our people are still waiting for justice. Amid such injustice, we have reason to be proud also as our people have shown to the world what it is to bear witness to Christ at any cost.”
The Church submitted in 2012 an appeal to the National Human Rights Commission demanding a ‘task force’ to be set up to provide comprehensive compensation for the losses Christians had suffered, rehabilitation, education and employment for the affected people.
Two years later, the Church appeal has made hardly any progress. Except for the token compensation of 50,000 rupees ($830) for “fully damaged” houses and 20,000 rupees ($330) for “partially damaged” houses, the Orissa government had not provided any compensation to the Christians — some of whom lost property worth millions in the arson.
Anto Akkara has authored two books, Kandhamal Craves for Justice and Early Christians of 21st Century, on the incredible witness of Kandhamal Christians. It was released by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for Evangelisation of Peoples, at the silver jubilee conference of bishops of 130 Latin rite dioceses in India in 2013.